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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Scottish Left Forum

Scottish Left Forum is a Facebook group that until late 2019, had in excess of a thousand members. It has lost nearly 200 members in the past six or so months.


I'm writing this truly wanting answers. Scottish Left Forum was set up by me, to give the left a platform in which we could discuss outwith the constrains of party leaderships. It was as a result of what I saw as a looming collapse of the left I was part of, ie a Left that created a grown up space where we could put in to action activism leading to campaigns leading to real policy that changed lives, by, at the time, driving the ruling Labour Party in Scotland, leftwards in the Scottish Parliament. 

That Left, post 2015, has indeed collapsed into factions ranging from small to tiny, and the non factional left are either on the SNP, Greens, the ever decreasing Scottish Labour party, or are without political home. The vast majority of the left in Scotland are not part of the small cultish hangovers of the 20th century Trotskyist, Maoist or Stalinist groups. 

I am not an admin. I stood down as it was one thing too many for me during the period after my father died on Jan 31st.

The slf timeline at present, really does not reflect its original remit. And a number of people have expressed that they don't feel safe or welcome there. The two post limit, introduced after an influx of multi posting CPB'rs, has not factored in the prolific posting of a few cpb, swp and cwi enthusiasts. I've tried in the limited way I can at present, to try to counter the cpb, cwi, swp etc awful posts. A cursory glance at posts over th past two days shows posts praising Assadism; out and out Chinese government propaganda and an swp advert for one of their many public meetings. The posting of people who have been promoting totalitarian regimes is worrying. This really does not represent the left. At all. 

I say this as someone guilty of giving these people a platform. The biggest mistake the SSP made was giving these groups the fertile ground in which to prosper again, and the results of their opportunism continues to marr Scottish politics. 

I feel slf is in its present form, unfit for purpose, and rather than being a place where the left is safe to chat about campaigns etc, it has become a place for those who are defending abuses of power that extend all the way in to the Tory Party via support for Putin, and to fascism by way of, for example, the Chinese government treatment of the Uighur people and Hong Kong protestors (fascism also, of course, has links to Putinism). 

I cannot in all conscience walk away from slf during this absolutely crucial period  when totalitarianism and fascism are/is on the ascendant. This might seem  catastrophising, but I feel allowing groups happy to clap fascists and right wing Brexit and who are daily posting articles that approve the Chinese Government's dreadful human rights record , and treatment of anti authoritarian protestors in Hong Kong, and Putin's homophobic and fascistic governance and alliance with the murderer Assad, to post with impunity, is not what anti fascists in the present hegemony should be doing. 

I propose either, inviting new, non-factional admins /moderators to help the present admins; new rules on posting that will somehow address the bias towards the tiny pro totalitarian sects; or closure of slf (slf pretty much acts as a mailing list for these groups now- which was not it's purpose). 

At the very least we need to talk about SLF.

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